Several months ago, Sophomore Maho Kowase, an incredibly talented tennis player from the University of Georgia, dropped from a serve that literally ripped her abdomen. Tennis athletes rarely think twice about tossing the ball in the air, stretching up with the racket, then slamming the ball across the net. But the truth is, when the body reaches up with a sudden jolt, there is always a risk that muscles will tear unexpectedly. Kowase is living proof.
Kowase is originally from Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, where she won the 2009 Japan Inter High School singles title. She went on to win the 2009 All Japan Junior Tennis Championship, then earn a spot in the Australian Open Junior Qualifying event. All of these prepared her for a chance to become a star with the Georgia Bulldogs. Unfortunately, when she became injured, doctors demanded she do absolutely no exercising. A torn abdomen was simply too serious to allow a careless stretch that might aggravate the soreness and pain. All she could do was watch her team play and offer encouragement. What did she do in the meantime?
“I went out and had fun with my friends,” said Kowase. “I didn’t go crazy, but I had more time and it was nice to use it.”
Truer words have never been spoken by a hard-working athlete. Sometimes an injury gives us the time we need to spend with the people we love in our lives. Now that Kowase is playing tennis again, she has the added support of many teammates who continue to believe she has what it takes to come back in full form.
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